Impact of Western Consumerism on Islamic States and Pacific Rim Nations

Topics: Japan, Southeast Asia, East Asia Pages: 4 (1103 words) Published: January 16, 2007
Impact of Western Consumerism on Islamic States and Pacific Rim Nations

The impact of western consumerism on the Islamic states and Pacific Rim nations brought about varying results. Religious disruptions, cultural and social differences, and economic patterns were affected by consumerism. In the Islamic states, Islam was challenged by Christian missionaries; populations either rose or plummeted according to new diets; and trade flourished or completely stopped in various states. Though completely separated from the western states, the Pacific Rim nations went through similar changes. Their religions—Buddhism and Confucianism—received the attention of Jesuit missionaries who tried to convert the people. Culture was transformed, and the economy was completely altered. Western consumerism in the Islamic states did not cause much religious controversy. In Islam "the real purpose of life was salvation, not just material goods" (Stearns 4). Therefore, during the Mughal Empire, when Christian missionaries tried to convert Akbar and his subjects, they met with minimum success. Akbar had created his own syncretic "divine faith", a blend of Muslim and Hindu beliefs, and that was enough to cause mayhem within the empire itself. The Pacific Rim nations in the east, however, were "more secular" and therefore "more open to consumerism than highly religious ones" (Stearns). The Portuguese's rediscovery of China and the Spanish's discovery of the Philippines renewed the converting fervor of the Jesuit and Christian missionaries (Clyde 85). Europeans, afterwards, trekked to the eastern states where they were more successful than in the Islamic states. The Japanese emperor Tokugawa Ieyasu wanted to develop a commercial relationship with Spain and opened Japan's ports to Spanish ships. The Spanish, on the other hand, were more interested in sending missionaries than trading, so Ieyasu had the port closed off to Spanish and English visitors (Clyde 94). In China, Jesuit...
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